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Thread: SunHeater solar panels help please

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    SunHeater solar panels help please

    Since it is now solar heating season, , I need some help in placement and angle.

    I live in central PA. We built a wooden type structure a few years ago on which to place the solar panels. I am not sure of the angle they are and what they should be.

    I don't know if the angle is just wrong, or they are just not working. I don't think I hear the water I did at the beginning of the season. Pump is right by heater so it is not that they are loosing a lot of heat to the ground. Warm water is not coming out. It was in the spring. Panels are on the hot side but they should be cool right? Today we have sun and I think the air temp is around 85. Nights have been cold so I need to warm up this pool or we are closing it this weekend. Pool temp is around 72.

    I have 2 questions:

    1. How do you know if you have the correct angle for the heaters? I am assuming the angle should work better during this time of the year, not when the sun is the highest in the summer, and

    2. How do I know if the panels are working at all?There does not seem to be a way to test them. No leaks that I can find in the panels, diverter positioned the correct way to all heated water to enter the pool. I may call them because maybe the valve inside dislodged and they are indeed not working.

    Thanks in advance



    24' round AG steel wall pool, 13,600 gal. 1.5 hp Hayward power flow matrix, EC-50 Hayward DE filter, Sun Heater solar panels,

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: SunHeater solar panels help please

    The angle is not critical, ideally you want them facing the sun ... a rough estimate is setting the angle at your latitude.

    The panels should feel cool to the touch, if they are not, then you are not moving enough water through them. Sounds like you are not actually feeding any water to them at this point.

    Can you post up pictures of your plumbing and equipment setup?
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    Re: SunHeater solar panels help please

    That is what I am thinking. I wonder if the bevel inside dislodged. I am not sure how, since it has not moved since the time we set it up. It worked then.

    Pardon the mess, I spilled the DE last time I changed it out and we have not had enough rain to wash it away.


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    Re: SunHeater solar panels help please

    You can see in this picture the panels are getting enough sun.



    Yes, the area around everything is a mess. We replaced our liner, and changed the location of our filter and I never did the finish work.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: SunHeater solar panels help please

    So that black valve is closed to force the water to the panels?
    Where is the water supposed to come out of the panels? I can not tell what the water flow should be ... does it all travel from right to left through both panels and then come out the far side not pictured?
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    Re: SunHeater solar panels help please

    I have no idea. I just follow the installation instructions.

    When we had one large panel it would come in from the pool to the bottom of the panel, and zig zag through and come out the top. The warm water then goes into the pool. I am not 100% sure how it works with 2 panels. I have to assume it is the same principle because the diagrams are the same.

    Yes, the value in this position means the water is diverted to the panels.

    I had water water coming through earlier in the season, so I know it is connected properly.

    I am not sure if it is working or my angle is incorrect. But as you said, the angle should not make that much difference.

    I think I am going to call the manufacturer. These panels are a replacement for previous ones where the bevel that makes the water zig zag through the panels must have fallen out. Even though nothing has been touched I am guessing something like this happened again.

    I may have to take the hose connected to the top of the heater and put it on the other end, which means buying more hose. UGH.

    Thanks so much for looking at this for me.

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    Re: SunHeater solar panels help please

    There is a white hose on the bottom of the picture that is supposed to take the warm water directly into the pool. It leaves the diverter value and goes to the pool inlet. I did not take a picture of that. sorry

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: SunHeater solar panels help please

    You would actually get more efficient heating if you supplied the cold water on the bottom at the far left and removed any diverter so that the water would ALL travel from left to right in all the tubes, then have the hot water come out the top right of the panel.

    This would increase the flow rate through the panels and thus add more heat to the pool.

    I am just not sure how these are setup ... sounds like the water enters the bottom right, goes to the left in the bottom half of the lower panel, then back to the right in the upper half, then back to the left in the bottom half of the top panel, then back to the right in the upper half of the top panel and then to the pool. That is just not efficient.
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    Re: SunHeater solar panels help please

    Also if the water is to flow back and forth down the panel and exit at the same end it entered at the other end of the header, then the middle point on the header must be blocked off, or else water will just flow in one end and out the other. many of these kit panels have a cut of valve that that point that should be closed to force water through the panels.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: SunHeater solar panels help please

    I just got in the pool. brr. It is up to 74. I believe the water is coming in slightly warm, so now I believe it is more the angle of the panels. UGH

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: SunHeater solar panels help please

    Are the panel cool to the touch or not?

    I think the system could be easily improved and the angle has little to do with it.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: SunHeater solar panels help please

    No they are not cool.

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: SunHeater solar panels help please

    Then it is not working well.

    Maybe it is "working" for how the panels are setup, but it is certainly not working as well as it could/should be.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: SunHeater solar panels help please

    If the panels are hot to the touch and if the water was flowing through them the water would be hot to the touch. If the panels are hot and the water is cool then the water is not flowing through the panels, at least not all of them.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
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